Former OSHA administrator to speak at UIC
David Michaels, former Assistant Secretary of Labor at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, under President Obama, will be the keynote speaker at a Regional Science Symposium on March 9 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Michaels now serves as professor of environmental and occupational health in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Originally trained as an epidemiologist, Michaels has extensive experience translating research into regulatory and public policy.
The symposium is sponsored by the Illinois Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Education and Research Center (Illinois ERC), a center in UIC’s School of Public Health. The symposium is one of the special events marking the 40th anniversary of the Illinois ERC. It is a collaboration among three ERCs in the Midwest: Illinois ERC, the University of Cincinnati Education and Research Center and the University of Michigan Center for Occupational Health and Safety Engineering. Themes for the symposium include making health care jobs healthier and highlighting innovations in exposure assessment. The symposium will also feature student research posters from all three ERCs.
University of Illinois at Chicago Student Services Building
1200 West Harrison St.
Friday, March 9
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., keynote speaker, 12 p.m.
David Michaels was assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health from 2009-2017, the longest-serving assistant secretary in the OSHA’s history.
Michaels strengthened the agency’s enforcement in high-risk industries, improved OSHA’s whistleblower protection program, promoted common-sense worker protection programs and standards, expanded compliance assistance provided to small employers, and increased outreach to the vulnerable populations who are at greatest risk for work-related injury and illness. He also enhanced OSHA’s focus and capabilities in the areas of data analysis and program evaluation.
Under his leadership, OSHA issued new health standards protecting workers exposed to silica and beryllium, and new safety regulations on fall protection, confined spaces, cranes and derricks, shipyards and electricity generation and distribution. Michaels also led efforts to require that workplace amputations and hospitalizations be reported to OSHA.
ERCs are funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to provide master’s and doctoral training in occupational and environmental health disciplines including industrial hygiene, occupational safety, occupational and environmental epidemiology, and agricultural health and safety as well as conducting clinical training in occupational medicine and occupational nursing. In addition, ERCs offer continuing education to occupational health and safety professionals, and they provide technical assistance and educational programs to worker organizations and employers in resolving health and safety issues in workplaces and communities.